Things To Do

Summer Fun in South Florida

School’s been out less than a week, and already it’s started:


Fear not, Mom and Dad.

Summer is the time when aspiring hip-hop artists can master how to be the next Macklemore, budding scientists can learn how to design a skyscraper with straws and animal lovers can get personal with an 18-foot great white shark.

Such are the fun-filled activities open to kids and their families all summer in South Florida. Many are free or cost a nominal fee. Some are aimed at Spanish speakers. Many incorporate science, sports, arts, crafts, cooking, languages and entertainment.

Here, then, is your scorecard for summertime fun:

Science with a twist

The Tony Hawk traveling exhibit, running through Sept. 2 at Fort Lauderdale’s Museum of Discovery and Science, offers a virtual skateboard park — and participants may just learn a little physics along the way.

“It is undoubtedly one of the best traveling exhibits we’ve ever had,” said Marlene Janetos, a museum spokeswoman.

It is one of six exhibits at the hands-on museum, which helps kids learn the principles of science while having fun doing it. The museum’s IMAX theater lets families get an up-close and personal view at summer blockbusters and science films in 3D.

The Museum of Discovery and Science, 401 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Cost: Exhibits tickets without IMAX admission are $12 to $14. Kids 1 and younger enter free. Exhibit tickets with IMAX admission are $15 to $20.

Go wild

Dive beneath the Antarctic ice with penguins. Travel with seals and sea lions. Ride a leatherback turtle as she searches for mates.

“The National Geographic Crittercam: The World Through Animal Eyes’’ is a traveling exhibition at Zoo Miami that details the life and times of sea and land animals.

National Geographic scientist Greg Marshall invented Crittercam, a safe video- and data-gathering="gathering" tool worn by animals in the wild. Visitors can see a model of an 18-foot great white shark, study the feeding habits of humpback whales, watch as an Alaskan bear cub takes a nap, and go hunting with a lioness.

Zoo Miami, 12400 SW 152nd St. Exhibit runs daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through July 28. Cost: Free with general zoo admission: $15. 95 for adults, $11.95 for children.

Be a hip-hop artist

Students who want to be the next hip-hop star can get their start at the PATH Hip Hop Summer Academy at the Light Box at Goldman Warehouse in the Design District. The program will include DJing, emceeing, B-boying/girling, writing and urban art.

The academy encourages teamwork, critical thinking, leadership and the application of hip-hop as a whole.

High school students between 13 and 19; GED students and youths older than 16 who do not attend school may apply.

Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, 404 NW 26th St., PATH Hip Hop Academy, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, July 9-Aug. 2. Registration is due June 17 at $15 per week; scholarships available.

Young at Art

For generations, kids were mesmerized by the magic words and images of Where the Wild Things Are. Those illustrations will inspire children’s imaginations again at the Young at Art Children’s Museum in Davie.

The main exhibit, one dedicated to the work of Where the Wild Things Are author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, will run through Sept. 15 and will feature hands-on interactive areas based on the characters from the book as well as Sendak’s other books, In the Night Kitchen and Really Rosie.

The museum also offers studio art classes in ceramics, drawing and painting, photography, digital cartooning and more. Family workshops are available for children 5 and younger to create earth-friendly pieces of art, participate in a live music session and in a literary adventure.

Young at Art Museum, 751 SW 121st Ave. in Davie, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $12 for ages 1 to 18, $13 for 18 and older and free for kids younger than 1. Family memberships are $135.

Eating right

Chop, slice or grate. Roast, broil or bake.

However it may be cooked, every meal made at the Eat Right Summer program at Hialeah’s John F. Kennedy Library must be healthy. In partnership with Common Threads, the program and its professional instructors will teach children, teenagers and their families how to make healthy meals for one hour every week in June.

In July, a group called Florida Introduces Physical Activity and Nutrition to Youth, will hold a six-week cooking session at the Hialeah library. The first day of class participants will learn how to make turkey tacos.

Students must register in advance.

John F. Kennedy Library, 190 W. 49th St., Hialeah. To register, call 305-821-2700, ext. 227. Free. Group will meet from 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays in June.

Drive-in fun

Serving South Florida since 1963, the historic Swap Shop Drive-In theater will take you back in time with modern-day films displayed on one of its 14 gigantic screens.

You won’t even have to get out of the car. Take the family and park in front of your movie’s screen, then just tune into the movie’s radio station and enjoy. Carts pass by your car with a variety of your traditional movie theater snacks.

You can also visit the exotic car museum, or take a look around the flea market for some deals.

The Swap Shop Drive-in, 3291 W. Sunrise Blvd., in Fort Lauderdale, is open seven days a week. Check for individual movie times. Cost: Tickets for children 5 to 11 are $2, 12 and up pay $7. Cash only.

Party like its 1699

Bring a partner or show up solo, everyone is welcome to a Contradance Miami class.

According to legend, Contradance, a style of American dancing where a caller leads dancers through the steps while a live band plays, originated more than 300 years ago in New England.

It’s fun, it’s exercise and it’s trendy — the classes have sprung up in Los Angeles and other major cities.

Contradance classes will be held the fourth Sunday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at The Barnacle, 3485 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove; and 7:15 p.m. the second and fourth Thursdays of the month beginning June 27 at Bayfront Park, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd. Free.

Waterslides galore

Despite the renovation under way to enhance Paradise Pipeline at C.B. Smith Park, Paradise Cove is still open for operation for those seeking some waterslide fun this summer.

Sharky’s Lagoon, a water playground for all ages, features three water slides — at 83-, 98- and 125-feet long — for kids to cool off from the hot South Florida weather. It is surrounded by an 18-inch-deep pool and rife with interactive water activities to splash through.

For smaller children, ages 5 and younger, Parrot’s Point is a water playground featuring a foot-deep pool with waterslides and interactive water activates scaled down to their size. Take a tube ride down the 410-foot- long lazy river, Crazy Creek, with interactive water elements splashing you along the way. No room for laziness here.

Later this summer, the park will debut four new — and

even more thrilling — waterslides.

C.B. Smith Park, 900 N. Flamingo Road in Pembroke Pines, is open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 5:20 p.m. Cost: $9.50 per person. After 3 p.m., cost is $6.50 per person. There is a gate admission fee of $1.50 per person (children 5 and younger are free) on weekends and holidays.

Games and thrills

Beat your family members on the go-karts, give them a run for their money in miniature golf and blow them away at laser tag at Boomers in Dania Beach.

The park offers a range of attractions, from the Flame Thrower, an upside down tandem experience for two, to rides for the smaller members of the family. The park also has an arcade room, a rock wall, batting cages and mini bowling.

Boomers, 1700 NW First St. in Dania Beach, is open noon to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, noon to 1 a.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. Cost: Prices vary according to amusement park packages, from $24 to $40.